This is about the point where people would most likely call the series "repetitive," even "clumsy," as admittedly the plots have been "anti-heroes meet dark force, anti-heroes vanquish dark force." But it's all an interesting prelude/vehicle to the coming darkness, as this show isn't simply a medieval weaving of murder mysteries, but also a character story. And as Mataichi keeps trying to underhandedly, yet fairly considerately, keep Momosuke out of their war path, the audience begins to wonder why, what does this shadowy force that delivers orders to Mataichi and co. have to fear from a bumbling author?
But as the show tries to teach us, nothing is as it seems, and darkness weaves its way into even the most humble of souls.
But with all the careful set-up in the background, we still have another tale of human evils to remind us that, as people, we are always susceptible to such darkness, and that if we choose to depart "the path of righteousness," our sins will always catch up with us. And that's a message for the ages, because another thing this show serves to do is remind people that, even with all the depravity, there's still little bits of light that manage to work their way in. This is best seen in Momosuke's relationship with the trio, as though they're too often caught up in the latest evil-of-the-week, they still sit down and have awkward and silly moments with one another, best noted at the beginning and end of episode 5.
Another great in the series, as it continues toward its climax...